Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Pandemic Doldrums

What is a sailboat to do without wind?

My sleep has been erratic lately. I'm sure some of it has to do with the instabilities caused by the pandemic: the stress caused by psychological, financial and political implications feels devastating. Yet, as humans and humanity we have an advantage, the potential to see beyond our circumstances and plan for recovery with the support of our fellow human beings.

For me, the experience of these crazy times sharpens a vision of what humanity's collective, overarching goal should be: a healthy, thriving planet, not just for the benefit of civilization and its constituents, but for the long-term healthiness of the environment, wildlife, and beautiful places everywhere.

And yet never have the challenges to attain that goal been more harrowing. It is too easy to see nations of world, especially the US, avoiding change because avoidance and return to the way things were is the easy path to follow. Systemic change for the better threatens the established power brokers of the world. Yes that includes corporate stockholders, insider politicians, and privileged, over-consuming humans across the globe, of which I am one.

I have no magic solution, though I've drawn upon evidence based science and well-reasoned compassion to implement minimalism in my life. As a society, however, I fear we will not act sufficiently to make a difference. It feels like we've missed an opportunity to ratchet up our game. Pandemics, famines, industrial development, and nearly everything spiraling the planet's health downward are driven by the ultimate plague, human over-population. If we are unable to regulate our numbers and our consumption, we have little hope in averting planetary degradation.

And so today I feel a bit hopeless for the Earth and what my species has done to Her. Still, tomorrow I'll continue to do my part, seek out new ways to minimize my impact, and share a thought or two that just might help another person to ratchet up their game.

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